Why Spanish Immersion?
What if your child could be more strategic, make better decisions, and think more critically? What if they could see every problem from several sides, and have a brain attuned to choose words carefully? What if, on top of these benefits, they could also speak another language? That’s exactly what a dual-language immersion education can do for your child!
Research indicates that bilingual people enjoy cognitive benefits on top of the communicative and cultural ones. At Oakland Christian School, students have the opportunity to learn their second language while receiving the excellent, faith-infused core curriculum that we offer all students.
Students may enter the Spanish Immersion program in Kindergarten or 1st grade. The Spanish Immersion program at Oakland Christian school is a true immersion program; students in early elementary receive all of their content instruction in Spanish, and Spanish is the primary language of instruction throughout elementary school.
The goal of Oakland Christian School’s Spanish Immersion program is to produce bilingual students who are high academic achievers, proficient in both Spanish and English, both knowledgeable about and appreciative of Spanish-speaking cultures, who can share Christ-like love with speakers of other languages.
Kindergarten - 2nd Grade
Students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade receive 100% of their content instruction in the classroom in Spanish. This includes reading, math, language arts, science, social studies, and Bible. Teachers use visuals, motions, repetition, and modeling to ensure comprehensible input for students. Students learn how to use strategies such as circumlocution (using the words they know to explain the words they don’t) to help them communicate only in Spanish.
Enrichment classes such as physical education, music, art, technology, and chapel are taught in English.
3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Once students reach 3rd grade, an intentional curriculum of English-specific skills is added to the day, along with some instructional time and reading and writing practice in English. All enrichment courses (art, music, physical education, technology, and library) are taught in English.
6th - 8th Grade
In 6th through 8th grades, students receive two core classes per day in Spanish. These classes also contain a Spanish Language Arts focus, to further improve their reading and writing abilities in Spanish, as well as their ability to express themselves about academic subjects and abstract concepts.
Spanish Immersion FAQ's
Second language acquisition happens best when started at an early age. Therefore, at OCS, students may enter this program in Kindergarten or the first semester of first grade. The Spanish Immersion program begins in Kindergarten and extends through high school. Strategic curriculum shifts at pivotal points in the Spanish Immersion timetable ensure that students grow and learn in both Spanish and English.
- The most important thing you can do for your child is read aloud in English. This exposes your child to English books and models fluent English reading.
- Be positive and encouraging! Your child will follow your lead, so model for them how exciting it is to be able to learn a second language.
- Listen to your child read in Spanish. Even if you don't understand what they are reading, it's good practice for them!
English instruction begins in 3rd grade. Until this point, students may seem behind their peers when comparing English reading or writing, but they are actually working at grade level in Spanish. They aren't actually behind when comparing their reading skills, they're just doing it in another language.
Once English instruction begins, students transfer the reading and writing skills they learned in Spanish to English (for example: reading left to right, paragraph, and sentence structure, reading comprehension strategies, etc.) English-specific skills that are not transferable from Spanish are addressed in 3rd-5th grade.
Oakland Christian School partners with add.a.lingua to ensure that students are receiving not only enough Spanish, but also the right Spanish, at the right time, and assessing student growth in Spanish on a set schedule. Being a partner school also means being part of a professional learning network that also implements early-total one-way immersion, and follows the same program design. Our partnership also allows us to participate in a comprehensive professional learning sequence and to utilize the most up-to-date, relevant research in the field of dual language immersion education.
Through our partnership with add.a.lingua and our outstanding team of immersion teachers, Oakland Christian School is committed to providing the highest standard of dual language immersion education.
Students in the Spanish Immersion program are tested using nationally-normed assessments (NWEA MAP) in Spanish and English, and perform at or above grade-level expectations in reading, language, math, and science. Our pilot 5th grade class performed well on their Spanish proficiency testing, as well, scoring above expectations and showing great promise for their future as bilingual academics.
Students have also excelled in communicating with Spanish-speakers in our community and around the world. Parents report to us that thy receive compliments on their students’ communication and pronunciation wherever they encounter Spanish-speakers!